time re versal

Better In Time

"Better In Time" is a song written by J. R. Rotem and Andrea Martin and produced by Rotem for Leona Lewis's debut album, Spirit. It is the fourth track on the album, (second track on US release) and was released in March 2008 as Lewis' third single in the United Kingdom, as a double A-side with "Footprints in the Sand". It was later released as Lewis' second international single following her debut hit "Bleeding Love". It was originally to be released in the United States on June 17, 2008, but was pushed back to July 15 2008.

The single was released in the UK as a digital download on March 9 2008, with a physical release on the following day, in aid of Sport Relief. The song was remixed for the single release. "Better In Time" was BBC Radio 2's record of the week from February 11 2008.

It has so far become a top ten hit worldwide and in US Pop and in Canada, a top five hit in Europe,UK and US Mainstream Charts , and a top fifteen hit in the US.


Leona Lewis first performed the song live on Dancing on Ice on March 9 2008. Lewis also performed both sides of the single on BBC 1's Sport Relief on 14 March as well as on Good Morning America on April 4 2008 and Jimmy Kimmel Live! along with "Bleeding Love". In April 2008, during her promotional tour of Australia, Lewis performed the song live on various breakfast and news shows.

On September 2, Leona performed the song on Good Morning America following up the next day with a performance on Live with Regis and Kelly. She also performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Ellen Degeneres Show during the week of September 8. Finally, on October 1 2008 the song was performed on the season finale of America's Got Talent to finish off the U.S. promotion for the song.


In its review of the album, The Korea Times described "Better In Time" as "one of the best tracks [on the album] with impressive piano sounds harmonized with her powerful vocals. Digital Spy was less favourable, calling it a "placid affair" with "its plinky-plonky piano and R&B groove resting uncomfortably next to Lewis's creamy vocal style". Rolling Stone magazine gave the single 3 stars, saying Lewis' "butter-smooth voice" delivers the lyrics with plenty of drama. The BBC's reviewer described "Better in Time" as "very pretty and seems extremely nice in a generational-gap-transcending manner but doesn't actually do anything.

Ahead of its US release, Billboard stated that "Better In Time" is of "equal caliber to its predecessor ["Bleeding Love"], with a one-listen hook, elegant chug-along melody, a lyric about healing and Lewis' unquestionably emotive vocal versatility. Wellheart Music Journal says of the song and of the singer 'No one in music today has a voice this strong and soulful and injects their songs with as much soul and presence in their songs as this singer' especially with this song.

Chart performance

"Better In Time"/"Footprints in the Sand" debuted at number seventy-four on the UK Singles Chart on February 24, three weeks before its physical release, but fell out of the chart the following week. "Better In Time" debuted at number thirty-eight as its own single, and reached a peak position of number twenty-three. When the physical single was released, the double A-side single jumped twenty-one places to number-two on the UK Singles Chart. It sold 40,476 copies and was held off the top spot by "Mercy" by Duffy, which sold 302 copies more.

In Australia, "Better In Time" debuted at number thirty-two based solely on download sales, and in its second week ascended to number twenty-one and was named one of the bullet performers for that week. "Better In Time" ascended eleven places to number-ten in its third week becoming Leona's second top ten single there, and eventually reached its peak at number-six two weeks later. It debuted at number thirty-four on the RIANZ Chart on March 17 2008, eventually climbing to number-nine in five weeks, and by its sixth week had climbed to number-six, thereby becoming her second consecutive top 10 hit in New Zealand, and was also certified Gold after 20 weeks with sales of over 7,500. "Better In Time" was also a success in Europe, and as a result has reached a peak position of number-three on the European Hot 100.

In April 2008, "Better In Time" debuted at number twenty-four on the US Hot Digital Songs Chart, and entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart on the chart week of April 26 2008 at number sixty-two as a result of the digital downloads which accumulated in the week of Spirit's North American release before dropping out of the chart the following week. The song also peaked at number forty-five on the Billboard Pop 100. "Better in Time" re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number seventy-five following its official release there, and reached a new peak of number forty-four on the Pop 100 the same week. The following week "Better in Time" ascended to a new peak of number sixty-one on the Billboard Hot 100 and has peaked at fourteen so far. It has also peaked at number seven on the Billboard Pop 100 to date. It has become a top five hit on both the Pop Airplay chart and the Mainstream Top 40 chart.

Music video

The music video was filmed at Hampton Court House School in London by acclaimed British director Sophie Muller in February 2008. The video is inspired by fashion design, and features Lewis performing in front of "unrelated photographic set-ups", and showing what goes on behind the scenes. Parts of the video also feature Lewis with a horse.

For the US release, the "Better In Time" music video was slightly changed. The scenes featuring Lewis with a horse were replaced with additional shots from the other parts of the video. It first premiered in the US on VH1's Top 20 Countdown on June 28, 2008, following the week of June 17, 2008 when the single was first expected to be released. The following week it debuted at number two and since then it has peaked at number one four times on the countdown. On August 16, September 6, and September 27 2008 it reached number one spot on the countdown.

As of now, it has received over 25 million views on YouTube.

Formats and track listings

UK/Australian CD1

  1. "Better In Time" (single mix) (Jonathan Rotem, Andrea Martin) – 3:54
  2. "Footprints in the Sand" (single mix) (Richard Page, Per Magnusson, David Kreuger, Simon Cowell) – 3:58
  3. "You Bring Me Down" (Salaam Remi, Taj Jackson, Leona Lewis) - 3:54

Australian CD2

  1. "Better In Time" (single mix) – 3:54
  2. "Footprints in the Sand" – 4:08
  3. "Bleeding Love" (Moto Blanco remix radio edit) - 3:43
  4. "Better In Time" (video)

Note: The Australian CD2 Exclusive was scheduled released on July 5 2008, almost 3 months after CD1 was released, on April 19 2008.

US Promo CD Single

  1. "Better In Time" (album version) (Jonathan Rotem, Andrea Martin) – 3:54
  2. "Better in Time" (U.K. version) AKA "single mix" (Jonathan Rotem, Andrea Martin) – 3:55
  3. Call Out Hook (Jonathan Rotem, Andrea Martin) – 0:10

Release history

Region Date Label Format
Republic of Ireland March 7 2008 Syco Music CD single, digital download
United Kingdom March 9 2008 Digital download
March 10 2008 CD single
Australia April 19 2008 Sony BMG CD single, digital download
Europe May 12 2008 Sony BMG CD single, digital download
United States July 15 2008 J Records CD single, digital download


"Better In Time"/"Footprints in the Sand"

Chart (2008) Peak
UK Singles Chart 2
European Hot 100 Singles 8

"Better In Time"

Chart (2008) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 6
Austrian Singles Chart 3
Belgium Singles Chart 12
Canadian Hot 100 11
Danish Singles Chart 3
Dutch Top 40 13
European Hot 100 3
Finnish Singles Chart 13
German Singles Chart 2
Hungarian Airplay Chart 10
Irish Singles Chart 4
Italian Singles Chart 3
Israeli Singles Chart 7
México Top 100 Singles Chart 56
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 6
Norwegian Singles Chart 19
Romanian Top 100 6
Swedish Singles Chart 5
Swiss Singles Chart 5
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 14
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 7
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Top 40 5


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